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S.F. No. 47 - Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act
Author: Senator Kent Eken
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
Date: January 20, 2015


This bill adopts the Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act.  The Act requires a presidential elector to vote for the candidates for president and vice-president to whom the elector is pledged.  If the elector does not vote in this manner, a process is provided to refuse the ballot and replace the elector.  The Act also establishes related procedural requirements.

Sections 1, 2, and 3 make conforming changes by adding references to alternate presidential electors.

Section 4 deletes provisions relating to selecting alternate electors.  Selecting alternative electors is addressed in section 7.  The electors are required to meet at noon on the designated day and perform the required duties.

Section 5 provides the short title for this act, which is the “Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act.”

Section 6 provides definitions.

Section 7 requires a political party or presidential candidate to submit the names of two individuals for each elector position.  One individual must be designated “elector nominee” and the other as “alternate elector nominee.”  The electors for Minnesota are the winning elector nominees.

Section 8 specifies the pledge that each elector nominee and alternate elector nominee must take.  The pledge states that the elector nominee or alternate elector nominee will support the candidate of the party, or unaffiliated candidate, that made the nomination.  The executed pledge must be submitted, with the corresponding names, to the Secretary of State.

Section 9 requires the Governor to include in the certificate of ascertainment that electors will serve unless a vacancy occurs; that if a vacancy occurs, the vacancy will be filled; and that the Governor will file an amended certificate if a vacancy is filled.  A certificate of ascertainment is required by federal law as part of the Electoral College voting process. (A certificate of ascertainment lists the names of the electors, and substitute electors, nominated to the Electoral College and the vote totals received by each at the general election.) 

Section 10 requires the Secretary of State to preside at the meeting of the state’s electors held to cast ballots for president and vice-president.  A process is provided to appoint an individual as a substitute elector, if necessary.

Section 11 requires the Secretary of State to provide each elector with a presidential and a vice-presidential ballot.  The elector must mark the ballots and then sign and print his or her name on each.  Each elector must present the completed ballots to the Secretary of State, who must examine and accept the ballots.  The Secretary of State must not accept or count a ballot if the elector has not marked both ballots or has marked a ballot in violation of his or her pledge.  A vacancy is created if an elector that refuses to present a ballot, presents an unmarked ballot, or presents a ballot marked in violation of the elector’s pledge.  The process is repeated with a substitute elector. 

Section 12 requires the Secretary of State to prepare an amended certificate of ascertainment and transmit it for the Governor’s signature if any of the electors are different from those listed in the original certificate.  The Governor must sign the amended certificate and return it to the Secretary of State.  The Secretary of State must prepare a certificate of vote and the electors must sign the certificate.  The Secretary of State must then process and transmit the signed certificate with the amended certificate.

Section 13 requires consideration to be given to uniformity of interpretation when applying these statutes with respect to the application and interpretation of the statutes in other states that have adopted this uniform law.

Section 14 makes a conforming change by adding a reference to alternate presidential electors.

Section 15 repeals Minnesota Statutes, sections 208.07 (certificate of electors) and 208.08 (elector meeting).  Both statutes are redundant or superseded by provisions in the bill.


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